Muscle cramps while running

The most mystifying of running problems is when you are running along and suddenly your calf seizes or you are crippled with a muscle cramp. Muscle cramps are painful, involuntary, and sustained contractions of one or more muscles that can lead to the abrupt cessation of your physical activity.

You may experience lingering soreness, reduction in normal muscle function, and even signs and symptoms of muscle damage.

Causes for muscle cramps

Cramps can be caused by overexertion, dehydration, fatigue, and inadequate training, leading to altered communication from the nerves to the leg muscles. During longer runs, body temperature increases, which causes sweating. This, in turn, causes a loss of electrolytes, especially salt. Another cause is reduced blood volume, it is hypothesized that as body heat increases over the course of a long run, the blood volume decreases. This taxes the muscles and can lead to cramping. The most common site for cramps in runners is abdominal stitches, calves, hamstring, quadriceps, and bottom of the feet.

Risk factors for muscle cramps

The exact cause of muscle cramps is not known, but risk factors may include:

  • Poor physical condition /Inadequate diet
  • Tight and inflexible muscles
  • Poor muscle tone
  • The physical exertion of cold muscles
  • Muscle injury/ Muscle fatigue
  • Physical overexertion
  • Excessive perspiration/ Dehydration
  • Reduced blood supply (ischemia)
  • Wearing high-heeled shoes for lengthy periods

Treatment at SOS PHYSIO Rehab

  • Specialists at SOS PHYSIO Rehab perform an elaborate functional assessment
  • Activity modification/Nutritional advice, Education/training advice/ phased return to exercise
  • A physical therapy program to stretch, self-treat, and improve balance, and strength
  • Joint mobilization /Deep tissue massage/myofascial release
  • Dry needling /acupuncture
  • Taping/Orthotic/insole advice

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